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The Variety Show Program: A Short Story

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.


It was the second year in a row since we had last organized a Variety Show Program in our building complex. The weather was scorching hot for the summer; so, we decided to stay indoors and organize another cultural program, practicing indoors.

Rehearsals and Arrangements

My sister and I were amongst the eldest of all our playmates. So, we guessed like last time we would have to supervise again. It was a lot of work, but we decided we would make it with flying colors.

We started out by making a list about who would perform what. We included poem recitations, drama acting, dancing, singsongs, and many more.

We had learned about drama acting and singsongs from school while we learned dancing during the vacations in our home country.

We decided how many kids would participate in each program of the show. Deciding that, we proceeded with rehearsals from the next day.

While we practiced dancing and the singsongs at home, which my sister and I would be performing as a duo in the show, we taught lyrics and tunes of other songs to our playmates and practiced portions of drama acting together in the widely spaced floor outdoors.

It was not only a matter of practice but also choosing getups, collecting many required objects, decorating the open stage and so on.

We practiced for three weeks; our playmates helped us to get various tools and objects needed for the dramas while we decided on their getups, something they could wear altogether, which they already had during singsongs. During drama acting, they had to shift from wearing a T-shirt and trousers to dresses, which we selected as well.

We made handwritten decorative cards and knocked every door of the complex and handed out the invitations for the show. Three more days to go for our great show.

We made the final round of rehearsals, gave out instructions and advice to every participant, and relaxed a little.

The Arrival of the Grand Day

The great pompous day arrived. As soon as we were done with breakfast, we decorated the open space in front of our door by hanging a bottle green saree from the mid-wall all the way down to the floor, sticking it to the wall with good tapes. We wrote in a silver paper on the green saree, “The Second Variety Show Program”.

It really looked gorgeous and elegant and the show dates back to the mid-eighties. I was only 11 years old at the time and my sister, 10 years old. All the pressure of the cultural show was on us. Since we had already organized a similar program the year before, the people in our complex had faith in us, yes, this time too we were going to rock.

We borrowed chairs from all the apartments on our floor and borrowed a carpet from the top floor. We laid down the carpet on the floor in front of our stage where the children could sit on while we placed chairs at the back for the elderly to watch.

If you are only 10 or 11, you could still be creative and bring out your talents. And that’s what we exactly did in the show.

Soon evening approached and like the previous year, we chose Uncle Bokhari from our floor to be the chief guest. Little did we know that this time Uncle had a pleasant surprise for us.

One by one the audience filled up the floor. The children who were invited but not participating in the show sat on the carpet. All lights were turned on. It was time to begin.

The Show Commencement

My sister and I chorused a prayer we learned from school. And according to the list on our agenda, our playmates began poem recitations and singsongs. The songs, dramas, and dancing my sister and I were going to perform with or without others were saved for the peak hours. Like a gentle blow of the wind, we carried them along with the right outfits, remembering to change them as each program demanded. Our playmates, who were also participants in the show, were constantly helped, supervised, and monitored.

We didn’t arrange for tea and snacks. This was a free program we were delivering for entertainment purposes only to our audience. They were none other than our complex inhabitants; some were, of course, the parents of our playmates.

A Solo Song Performance

A Solo Song Performance

A Chorus Singsong

A Chorus Singsong

The Audience, Enjoying Drama Acting?

The Audience, Enjoying Drama Acting?

The Surprise from Uncle Bokhari

The surprise Uncle Bokhari had at the end for us was too charming. He said a short but bold speech, praising our playmates and especially us, my sister and me, the organizers. Then he gifted us a toy kitchen set, a doll to a third playmate whose performance was well all throughout the show and lots of consolation prizes in the form of vanity bags, pen/pencil boxes and decorative scarves. And then the show ended. We relaxed after the audience left, laughed and joked with Uncle Bokhari and then returned the chairs and carpet to the right places.


Basking in glory and delight, we had dinner at home with family and retired to bed, myself whispering with my sister for sometime about the day’s events and we weren’t aware when we were fast asleep. From then on, we kept moving forward with endeavors and achievements, much to the pride and joy of our family and well-wishers.

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© 2019 Rosina S Khan